Lawyer Alan Honner on Trucker Commission ruling

The Litigation Director for The Democracy Fund shared his thoughts on how to avoid future Emergencies Act invocations, the recommendations for changing the act, and the Prime Minister's remarks about the ruling.

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On yesterday's livestream, Rebel's Alexa Lavoie and Drea Humphrey were joined by Alan Honner, Litigation Director for The Democracy Fund to get his legal perspective on the recent ruling for the Emergencies Act commission.  

Drea asked Alan if there's anything that could be done differently in the future so that the Emergencies Act wouldn't be enacted if that many people were to protest against the government again. 

Alan answered:

It's almost impossible for anyone to really control something like that. Because, you know, and let's let's just be honest about this protest. It was unprecedented. And it was unprecedented because there was so much dissatisfaction out there about what the federal government was doing and what provincial and municipal governments were doing. But I don't think anybody will be able to control a group that's that big and that diverse and even that diffuse, because it's all over the country.

Now, as for not doing something to prevent the invocation of the Emergencies Act, that's somewhat out of our hands, isn't it? Right. Because those decisions are made behind closed doors by the government and their advisers in cabinet meetings, in these IRG meetings. So I don't think we can do anything about that except except vote for better politicians who won't invoke these these acts, which are potentially abusive.

Sheila asked for Alan's thoughts on the recommendations that the commissioner suggested, and he commented on the reccomendation that the reference to threats to the security of Canada should be removed from the definition of a public order emergency, which would make the law a little bit easier to invoke.

So that's something that I would actually respectfully disagree with the commissioner about. I think that's an important part of the Emergencies Act. It's an important part of the definition of a public order emergency. And maybe we can beef it up a little bit. Maybe we can clarify it a little bit, but I don't think we should get rid of it entirely, because that's really what was most contentious at the public order emergency inquiry.

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund is a Canadian charity dedicated to strengthening democracy by defending civil liberties, promoting independent journalism, and helping the world’s vulnerable. Click here to join the fight by making a donation.

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